Not so little brother

This morning I found myself reminiscing about the cute things my not-so-little 16 year old brother has said to me over the years. Most of the time he is picky and builds up a rage inside me that only his annoying comebacks can raise.

But, once in a blue moon, he will do something or say something that will warm me to my core.  Continue reading

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My rock and mattress

My not-so-little brother completed his GCSEs today. It got me thinking about the day I got my own grades and I realised this is now seven years ago! As it turned out I achieved the best grades in the school that year, and set a school record (which has now been beaten). Looking back though, what should have been one of my proudest achievements actually brings me shame.

Now, I think many children of immigrants will know the overbearing parent who will be happy with nothing less than the best. But that wasn’t my mum – she was supportive and always told us that so long as we tried our best, we would have nothing to regret. She installed in me the need to be independent, to only rely on yourself and to love everything you do so you do it well. Continue reading

Our Voice Matters 

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”- Dr Seuss

Sometimes we mute ourselves. We worry about saying something that will sound like we’re making a fuss. Our voices as women are quietened and as women of colour silenced. We are reminded we sound bossy. We sound aggressive. We don’t know what we’re talking about. We don’t sound like that passive, attractive women of their dreams anymore.

If something makes you feel uneasy, sends a pulse down to your stomach, does not sit right in your mind – you are not making a fuss. Your voice is important. You are confident. You are brave. You do know.

Because only you will know what your experience has taught you. It should not be ignored. You are not just the other.

So that comment that sounds a little racist or sexist, that joke that wasn’t so funny, that question simply inappropriate – call them out. Our voice matters.

Perhaps they will tell you you’re making a big deal out of nothing. Perhaps they will call you bossy. Perhaps they will call you aggressive. It may hurt. People those who you thought you trusted betray you. Allies broken.

But you’ll feel lighter – having done your bit – trying to make the world a better place for everyone. You’ll surround yourself with people who genuinely care. People who love you. People who empower you. And not those who clip your wings and muzzle your mind. Your voice will have mattered. And for that at least you can be proud.

“I am not a Feminist”

I am a feminist. And I’ve explained why on my previous post The F Word.

But I have come across a tonne of posts recently, whilst reading the ‘feminist’ tag which essentially said two things:

  • I can’t understand why any women would refuse to call themselves a feminist
  • I can’t understand why men hate on feminists

Now I’m not going to go into point 2, because, to me, it is a priority that women feel welcome into a movement that is meant to be for them. And if that movement is not then that’s a priority.

Here are my 5 reasons why some women of colour refuse to call themselves feminists. Continue reading

The F word

I am a feminist.

There I said it. This word has become muddled and twisted, said by many but understood by few. I have so much to say and obviously a 500 or so word blog won’t be enough to cover this huge topic but here are a few of my initial thoughts.

Feminism is simply the movement to get equality for the sexes. It is that simple but yet, I think mainly due to the toxicity around the word, people are ashamed or reluctant to call themselves a feminist. At the end of the day, I don’t think it really matters so long as you believe in the values. But to me the word brings solidarity and strength. And so I own it.  Continue reading